It's taken a lot of time, effort, and money to get mixed martial arts to where it is today. A big piece of legitimizing a sport (that to be fair to critics is indeed savages fighting inside a steel cage) was convincing politicians and cable executives that this wasn't a blood sport. That these were athletes looking for competition, not blood thirsty bar fighters. That's why Miesha Tate's recent comments about her fight with Marloes Coenen tomorrow night make long time followers of the sport cringe.
Tate, in a video promo, made it clear this wasn't your typical sporting contest:
"... I'm going to try to kill her, I really am. I'm going to try to get to the point where the referee is fearful of her life and stops the fight, that's my goal."
That kind of talk sends the wrong message. There's something not right about thinking of an opponent's death in the cage. Frank Mir caught heat for similar comments - and Miesha shouldn't be exempt from criticism because she's an attractive female who weighs just 135 pounds.
Someone should sit down with Tate and explain why this kind of trash talk is ill advised. It's true this isn't shuffleboard - but it's not Gladiator or Spartacus either. Everyone involved in the sport needs to make sure that message is being broadcast loud and clear.